About Judge Leah Setzen

Judge Leah Setzen was appointed as DuPage County Circuit Court Judge by a unanimous vote of the Illinois Supreme Court in 2023.

Prior to her appointment, Judge Setzen was a partner with Sefton Kelly Family Law, formerly known as Grunyk Family Law, in Naperville.  Setzen was rated Highly Recommended to serve as Judge by the DuPage County Bar Association Judiciary Committee in November 2022.

In private practice, Judge Setzen was a seasoned litigator whose practical, empathetic approach to even the most difficult, emotionally-wrought cases was appreciated by the many people she represented. Judge Setzen’s extensive trial experience over the course of her 23-year career has included hundreds of trials and hearings.  She has an outstanding depth and breadth of legal knowledge in both civil and criminal law, including assisting members of the LGBTQIA+ community in family law matters. 

Judge Setzen has a strong teaching background and has always been inspired by the written word.  Her writing career began while an undergraduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,where she was a reporter, copy editor, opinions columnist and opinions editor at The Daily Illini, the student-run newspaper. In her professional life, Judge Setzen has authored numerous articles for the DuPage County Bar Brief and presented case law updates to members of the DuPage County Bar Association over the course of 17 years.  

Outside the courtroom, Judge Setzen is incredibly active in her community.  A lifelong resident of Naperville, she has raised her three children in the Naperville public schools and participated in their activities, both curricular and extracurricular.  Judge Setzen has spent every summer for the last 12 years volunteering in the Naperville Swim Conference, rising through the ranks to become her team’s referee. She also has acted as a judge for high school mock trial competitions and has volunteered at both the elementary and high school levels through the Illinois State Bar Association’s “Lawyers in the Classroom” program and with gifted elementary school classrooms.

Judge Setzen has given back to her community as a member of the Board of Directors of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce and its Women in Business committee, encouraging the success of local businesses, and in particular, women in local businesses; and as a member of the Board of Directors of NCTV17, Naperville’s local media outlet.  Judge Setzen also has long served the legal community by educating other attorneys, judges and other professionals through IICLE (Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education), the National Business Institute, HalfMoon Education and the DuPage and Will County Bar Associations. Judge Setzen is a leader in training mental health professionals, as well as local advocacy and support groups, mental health and financial professionals, to understand how they can best work to improve lives through the justice system.

A graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for both her bachelor’s degree and her law degree, Judge Setzen obtained her undergraduate degree summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1997 and her law degree cum laude in 2000. Judge Setzen received the CALI Award for excellence in legal research and writing in law school.

Judge Setzen is a member of the DuPage and Will Counties Bar Associations, the Robert E. Jones chapter of the American Inns of Court and various alumni groups. She is a past member of the board of directors of the University of Illinois Law Alumni Association and former chairperson for the University of Illinois College of Law’s annual Student-Alumni Career Conference.